We are grateful to our alumni and friends for their generous support of the Smith School and its programs. Your continued generosity allows us to to sustain and enhance the quality of the school's programs and its reputation for educating engineers at the top of the field. Please review the list of giving opportunities below and consider a gift that will help the school accomplish one of the following objectives. You can also GIVE NOW using our secure website.

Capital Projects

The Smith School has outgrown Olin Hall, but we have plans to grow from the inside, our venerable home to accommodate our programs into the future. Olin has been prioritized in the College of Engineering’s Facilities Master Plan for a full renovation. This prioritization recognizes the exceptional growth that has occurred in the school, in teaching and research, over the past decade. To accommodate our current and future programs, the plan aims to liberate significant new space within Olin Hall – with a recovery of all the space occupied by College services – to accommodate state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching and common spaces. This re-envisioning and reinvigorating of Olin for its next 75 years brings exciting opportunities and funding priorities:

  • Creation of a Cornell Institute for Biological Design and Manufacturing               $1 - $10 million
    Chemical engineers at Cornell are using the principles of biological and engineering design to harness living organisms for manufacturing chemical products. The Institute for Biological Design and Manufacturing will capitalize on this trend to catalyze progress towards a new ‘biomanufacturing economy’, in which engineers develop biological systems to manufacture new products – materials, therapeutic drugs, and fuels – that address some of the world’s most pressing problems. Gifts to in support of the institute will allow the school to renovate and expand space in Olin Hall that will house the institute. Your support of the institute will also provide annual support for research and education programs in support of the institute’s mission.
  • Creation of the Heart of the Smith School in Olin Hall                                            $5 - $10 million
    For the first time in the history of the school and of Olin Hall, we have an opportunity to create a true home-base for Chemical and Biological Engineering. One that celebrates our past (the Rhodes Lounge mural) and hosts dynamic interactions between students and faculty as they design our future. Olin Hall occupies an iconic space on Ho Plaza in the center of Cornell’s campus. This new space within Olin will serve as the beating heart of this center, showcasing the creativity and hard work of the ChemE’s of today and tomorrow.
  • Creation of next generation spaces for active learning and research                      $100,000
    Within the scope of our complete renovation, we have opportunities to invest in state-of-the-art facilities for interactive learning, student project space, and research. With much of the building untouched since the cinderblocks were laid in 1942, we have spaces of all size and for our whole range of programs – from process and product design through to the discovery of advanced materials for energy storage – that need to be updated and renovated.


  • Professor of Practice                                                                                              $3,000,000 Endowment
    Industrial Practitioners (IPs) are chemical engineers with considerable practical experience who return to Cornell to serve as lecturers. Since the mid 1990’s, CBE undergraduates have benefited greatly from continuous service of IPs in our capstone Chemical Process Design Course and Unit Operations laboratory. More recently, IPs have played a central role in the development of new components of our curriculum in Product Design and Energy Economics.
  • Endowed Professorship Biomolecular Engineering                                               $3,000,000 Endowment
    Gifts to this fund will support salary and research start-up costs for hiring a member of the faculty who will facilitate growth of Biomolecular Engineering.
  • Faculty Start Up Funds – Faculty Renewal                                                           $500,000 Current Use
    Current use gifts to support the hiring of faculty in CBE. 

Graduate Fellowships

  • Graduate Fellowships/Awards                                                                              
    • Endowed                                                                                                        $1.5 million endowment
    • Term (5-year current use)                                                                              $300,000
    • Graduate “Award”                                                                                          $100,000 endowment

Attracting talented graduate students to the school is a key goal in our pursuit of excellence in research. Your gift will allow the school to meet its goal of providing competitive graduate fellowships to every first year graduate student enrolled in the chemical engineering program.

  • Teaching Immersion Fellowships for Doctoral Students                                        $1.5 million endowment

The goal of CBE’s teaching immersion fellowships is to facilitate the development of doctoral students committed to careers in academia. Gifts in support of these fellowships will be used to fund graduate students who serve as TAs in multiple courses.

  • Professional Masters Fellowships                                                                          $1.5 million endowment
    Graduate Award                                                                                                     $100,000 endowment

The school’s Masters of Engineering programs have never been larger or more vibrant than they are today. Students enroll from around the world to take on courses and projects within our four specializations: Computational Informatics, Energy Economics and Engineering, Medical and Industrial Biotechnology, and Product Design. This endowment will allow the school to provide these opportunities to talented young engineers who might otherwise not be able to afford the program.

Program Support

  • Startup funds for new student project teams                                                    $50,000 or any size gift
  • Support CBE WOMEN (WOMen in ENgineering)                                            $50,000 or any size gift
  • Support industrial field experience/ international opportunities for students    $100,000 endowment

Field experiences and international programs provide some of the richest possible training for students of the school. A summer experience at Imperial College London’s carbon capture pilot plant and a week-long training in off-shore operations at a Shell facility have been made financially viable for cohorts of students over these past several years by generous gifts from alumni. We hope to continue these programs and expand opportunities in the coming years, in particular with visits to and engagement with companies in our region.

CBE Discretionary Fund                                                                                    

  • Gifts of Any Size

Unrestricted gifts of any amount may be directed to CBE and will provide the director the flexibility to support the priorities listed above, aggressively recruit and retain junior faculty, seize other opportunities and address challenges at their discretion.

Grace Chuang ChEME '18

Favorite Olin Hall/ChemE memory:
Hanging out with my senior product design group every week. I am thankful for groupmates who are friends outside of Olin Hall, too.

— Grace Chuang '18

Contact Information

For more information on these or any other giving opportunities, please contact Stephen Smith, CBE’s Alumni Affairs and Development Officer, at 607-255-8285 or sjs422@cornell.edu.